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EMBLEMA CLXXIX [=178] .

Vespertilio.

The bat

Assumpsisse suum volucri ex Meneide nomen,[1]
Socraticum authores Choerephoonta ferunt[2]
Fusca viro facies, & stridens vocula, tali
Hunc hominem potuit commaculare nota.

Writers tell us that Chaerephon, Socrates’ follower, got his particular name from the winged daughter of Minyas. It was his sallow complexion and squeaky little voice that gave rise to such a slur to sully his reputation.

Das CLXXIX [=178] .

Fledermauß.

Die Gschichtschreiber geben zuverston
Daß der Socratisch Cherophon
Sein namen empfangen hab drauß
Von der Meneischen Fledermauß
Ein Mann so hat ein braun angsicht
Und ein stimm zu zischen gericht
Disen Menschen man mercken kan
Mit diesem zeichen, und verstan.

Notes:

1.  For the transformation of the daughters of Minyas (the founder of the earliest race of Greeks) into bats - for refusing to worship Dionysus - see Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.389ff.

2.  Chaerophon, a distinguished disciple of Socrates, was nick-named ‘The Bat’ and ‘Boxwood’ for his pale complexion and poor health, supposedly brought on by excessive study. See Aristophanes, Aves, 1564; Philostratus, Vitae sophistarum, 1.482.


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    • flying mammals: bat [25F28(BAT)] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • study and diversion [49A1] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • studying at night [49B4411] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • Minyas' daughters changed into bats: having aroused Bacchus' anger by weaving instead of worshipping him, the daughters of Minyas, Leuconoe (Leucippe), Alcithoe and Arsippe, are changed into bats by the god (Ovid, Metamorphoses IV 399) [97CC7] Search | Browse Iconclass
    • male persons from classical history (with NAME) representations to which the NAME of a person from classical history may be attached [98B(CHAEREPHON)3] Search | Browse Iconclass

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    Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [o1r p209]

    Aemulatio impar.

    Competing on unequal terms

    LXVIII [=69] .

    Altivolam miluus comitatur degener harpam, [1]
    Et praedae partem saepe cadentis habet.
    Mullum prosequitur qui spretas sargus ab illo, [2]
    Praeteritasque avidus devorat ore dapes.
    Sic mecum Oenocrates agit: at deserta studentum
    Utitur hoc lippo curia tanquam oculo.[3]

    An ignoble kite accompanies the soaring hawk and often gets a piece of the prey as it falls. The sargus follows the mudfish and greedily devours the food that it scorns and passes by. Oenocrates behaves like this with me - but the lecture-hall I’ve abandoned treats him like a runny eye.

    Notes:

    1.  For the association of the kite and the hawk see Aristotle, Historia animalium, 9.1.609.

    2.  For the sargus see Emblem 29 ([A56a029]). For its habit of following the lutarius (the mudfish) and eating the food it disturbs as it burrows in the mud, see Pliny, Natural History, 9.30.65; Erasmus, Parabolae, p. 253.

    3.  lippo...tamquam oculo, ‘like a runny eye’, a proverbial expression. See Erasmus, Adagia, 4100 (Lippo oculo similis): a runny eye is something you would prefer to be rid of, but while you have it you cannot leave it alone; similarly there are people you do not like, but you find yourself obliged to make use of them.


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